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Facebook’s revenue doubled to $1.6 billion in 2011’s first half, a source with knowledge of its financials told Reuters, underscoring its appeal to advertisers while it grapples with intensifying competition from the likes of Google Inc.

Net income in the first half of 2011 came to almost $500 million, according to the source, who wished to remain anonymous because privately-held Facebook does not disclose its results.

Facebook’s stronger results come as investors have pushed its valuation to roughly $80 billion in private markets, with many industry observers expecting the world’s No. 1 Internet social network to go public in 2012.

Its growing popularity among its advertisers and 750 million users has pressured entrenched Web companies such as Yahoo Inc, which ousted its chief executive Carol Bartz on Tuesday.

Search leader Google Inc launched Google+, a rival social network in June that attracted more than 10 million users in its first two weeks. Google is trying to increase the appeal of its social network by offering games such as Zynga Poker and Rovio’s Angry Birds.

Some venture capitalists and industry experts see early signs that Google+ is headed down the right path in taking a bite out of Facebook.


Facebook earned $355 million in net income in the first nine months of 2010 on revenue of $1.2 billion, according to documents that Goldman Sachs provided to clients during a share offering this year.

The source did not provide figures for a direct comparison for the first half 2011 figures.

Created by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, the company is expected to introduce new features this month such as music services from Spotify and Rhapsody, according to people familiar with the plans.

Facebook has become one of the Web’s most visited destinations by people who spend hours on the site every month sharing photos and videos, and conversing with friends.

Facebook accounted for nearly one third of all Internet display advertisement impressions in the United States in June, more than the combined total of Yahoo, Microsoft Corp, Google and AOL Inc, according to analytics firm comScore.

It was not clear what portion of Facebook’s $1.6 billion in revenue in the first half of the year came from advertising sales. Facebook also gets a 30 percent cut of sales of virtual goods, such as digital cars or animals, that enhance the experience in social games such as Zynga’s FarmVille.

In January, Facebook said it had raised $1.5 billion from investors including Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, as well as through a private offering to overseas investors conducted by Goldman Sachs, at a valuation of roughly $50 billion.

Facebook declined to comment on its financial results.



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FLASH: NVDA Ups Guidance

NVIDIA sees FY13 revs guidance of $4.7-5.0 bln vs. $4.5 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate (13.18 +0.2)
It expects GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins of ~51-53%. NVIDIA further anticipates GAAP operating expenses of $1.54 billion to $1.61 bln, and non-GAAP operating expenses of $1.38 billion to $1.43 bln . Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to exclude stock-based compensation expense, amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets and other acquisition-related costs. Co said, “We see growth across our entire GPU and mobile-processor business,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA president and chief executive officer. “The future for computing is visual and mobile, and we are well positioned to lead in this new era.”

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FLASH: Finisar Surprise to the Upside

Finisar beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; guides Q2 EPS in-line, revs in-line (18.64 +0.18)
Reports Q1 (Jul) earnings of $0.21 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.18; revenues rose 9.8% year/year to $228.2 mln vs the $228.5 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.20-0.24, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.20 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $235-$250 mln vs. $236.27 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Gross margin decreased to 29.1% of revenues from 34.1% in the first quarter of the prior year and from 31.6% in the preceding quarter. Co states “We expect production of this product to start to ramp during the second quarter of fiscal 2012. In addition, on June 29, 2011, we successfully closed our previously announced cash tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares of Ignis ASA and now hold 100% of the outstanding shares of Ignis.”

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Ford sales up 11%

DETROIT (AP) — BY THE NUMBERS: Ford Motor Co. sold 175,220 cars and trucks in the U.S. in August, up 11 percent from 157,503 in the same month a year ago.

TOP SELLER: The F-Series pickup rose 2 percent to 48,795.

HOT MODELS: Ford Explorer sales quadrupled to 9,901. The new Explorer was released late last year. Sales of the Fiesta subcompact, another relative newcomer, increased 76 percent from a year ago.

Sales of the Crown Victoria sedan more than doubled as taxi companies and police departments scrambled to get cars before Ford ceases production.

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GM sales rise 18%, nobody cares

Guess what? I’m still never buying.

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (NYSE:GM – News) said on Thursday that its U.S. sales rose 18 percent in August.

Don Johnson, GM’s vice president for U.S. sales, said strong sales of the compact Chevrolet Cruze and SUVs Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain paced the increase.

“We’re carrying good momentum, and we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll see U.S. economic growth improve in the months ahead,” Johnson said in a GM press statement.

Flagship brand Chevrolet sales increased 16 percent. GMC sales rose the most among the No. 1 automaker’s four brands, gaining 40 percent. Luxury brand Cadillac sales increased only 4 percent.

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Retailers report good August, Target old operation revenue up 4.1%

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers remained resilient in August despite wild stock market swings and worries about the economy, resulting in what’s winding up to be a respectable back-to-school shopping season for many merchants.

However, the impact of Hurricane Irene, which ploughed through the Carolinas and up the Eastern Seaboard last weekend, hurt business for merchants, particularly clothing retailers. Retailers are still hoping to recoup lost sales in the next few weeks.

As merchants reported their sales results Thursday, Target Corp., Limited Brands Inc., and teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. posted sales gains that beat Wall Street expectations. But there were several stragglers. Gap Inc., which has been struggling with a sales malaise, posted a bigger-than-expected drop. Kohl’s Corp., and J.C. Penney Co. reported unexpected declines.

The results measuring sales at stores open at least a year are considered a key indicator of a retailer’s health.

“Retailers weathered a number of storms to turn into what’s expected to be a solid back-to-school and August selling season,” said Ken Perkins, president of Research Limited LLC. “September will be interesting. The first half should be good but the second half could be sluggish.” He said beyond buying clothing and supplies for their children, families don’t have any “driving reason to spend.”

“If the economy continues to teeter, the vast majority will keep their wallets tight,” he added.

Target’s revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4.1 percent in August, driven by back-to-school and back-to-college shopping. The results topped Wall Street’s forecast.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 3.5 percent increase.

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